St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School Awarded Gold LEED Certification for Main Highway Pavilion

[St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School] On April 29, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School’s new Main Highway Pavilion was awarded Gold LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Based in Coconut Grove, St. Stephen’s is the first independent school in Miami-Dade County to achieve this high mark, only the second school in the county, and one of only nine Gold schools (K-12) in Florida.

A number of features contributed to the Gold LEED® certification:

  • All rooms are filled with natural daylight.
  • The building and the classrooms are finished with indigenous woods found in South Florida: oak, mahogany, cypress, and southern pine.
  • Rain water from the roof is captured and used to irrigate landscaping.
  • Interior materials, including paints and sealants, are free of harmful volatile organic chemicals, helping to create a clean and healthy indoor environment.
  • High-efficiency glass is employed to let in light, but reject heat.
  • The building itself serves as an important teaching tool for the students and reinforces the school and parent body’s commitment to the conservation of our natural resources and environment.

Photograph: Main Highway Pavillion

St. Stephen’s has integrated a commitment to conservation and environmental education throughout curricular and co-curricular activities. Students, teachers and parents recite a “Pledge to the Earth” each day. Teachers at the school have quickly adopted the LEED® characteristics into their curriculum.

Said Head of School Silvia Larrauri, “St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School stands at the forefront of South Florida schools as good stewards of the environment. The Main Highway Pavilion is not only a beautiful and inspirational instructional space, it also serves as a laboratory for educating students, adults, and the extended community about partnering with the environment. The Main Highway Pavilion was truly a collaborative venture, and we are extraordinarily proud of how it turned out.”

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified schools generally cost 2%-6% more to build but achieve dramatic benefits in the form of return on investment and—perhaps most importantly—provide a building in which teachers and students perform better than they would in a building that is not LEED certified.

Through LEED certification, a building can identify sustainable characteristics in the same way that a “nutrition label” notes nutritional values for food. A LEED Certified school is energy and water-efficient, uses environmentally responsible materials, manages waste streams, and have healthy, clean indoor environments. Both new and existing school buildings can earn LEED certification. A third-party verification ensures that the building was designed to be sustainable and provides a healthy atmosphere for teachers and students, and is operating as intended.

The Main Highway Pavilion was designed by Jenifer Briley & Associates, AIA, LEED AP BD+C. New Beach Construction Partners, together with Beauchamp Construction (a Joint Venture) were the general contractors. Jim Werbelow of the Related Group served as Project Manager, and Donald R. Crowe of Pointe Group Advisors was the Owner’s Representative. Gary Shlifer was the LEED® Accredited Professional (AP)/Sustainability Consultant for the project. The building opened for use August 31, 2010.

About St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School is an outreach program of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church providing students in grades PreK-3 through Grade 5 with the academic, ethical and spiritual foundation to succeed in a diverse and changing world. St. Stephen’s is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) and the Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC).